Tonight, after getting everyone to bed with minimal yelling, it was "New Girl", orange nail polish and a few chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes, I want to get up in church and bear my testimony about the peace and solitude after everyone is on bed. I know with every fiber of my being, beyond a shadow of a doubt that when kids are in bed and the house is clean, I am a nicer mom.
Jack turned 9 on Monday. NINE. Nine years ago, I had him and as we were getting ready to leave the hospital, Ethan and I were truly freaked out. "Are you sure you want us to take him home? Aren't you afraid we are going to break him? Don't one of you nice nurses want to come with us to make sure nothing bad happens?" Jack was a rotten baby at the beginning. He had pyloric stenosis and we didn't know it until he was a month old. That first month was horrid. I remember there was one day that he didn't sleep for 24 hours. Just cried, ate and threw up. When I would tell people that he never slept and cried all the time, they would patronize me and say, "Oh, that's just how newborns are! He will grow out of it!" One morning at 5am, after he had vomited down my shirt, I had had enough. I took him to the ER by myself as Ethan took the sleep shift. After lots of tests, they found the problem and he had surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles a few days later. After that, he was the happiest, sweetest fattest baby. From that point on, he was wonderful. As he has grown, he stayed happy, sweet and got unfat. Jack has always been a good boy. He has such a desire to do the right thing, even if that means he has to stand out. His sensitive heart allows him to look out for the kids at school who need a friend. He works hard at home and at school and takes on responsibility well. Even when he has had difficult times with behavior or performance, he has kept that work ethic to try and fix what has been wrong. Today he showed me his spelling test, which he scored very well on, and on the back he wrote a note to his teacher. "Dear Ms. Sweat, if you are reading this, I think you are awesome." She wrote back. "Thank you Jack, this makes me smile. You are awesome also."
Last week, I dropped by a friend's house and we chatted about how important it is for us mothers to do things outside of motherhood and use our creative talents. This was such a good reminder for me. My creative outlet is cooking and making up my own stuff and lately I haven't been good about taking the time to enjoy it. After I finished writing my book, recipe ideas just kept coming and I wrote them all down. I have a little over 100. When I write a recipe, I get an idea first and then I work on a recipe from there. So this week, I worked on citrus garlic-glazed roast chicken, lemon parmesan rice and turkey jalapeno empanadas. Next up, I want to work on iced lemon sheet cake and slow-cooker potato soup. I am not sure what I will do with these recipes, but I will have them there for whatever and they are something that I have done that makes me feel happy and creative.
Last night, Ethan was clipping fingernails and toenails for Van and Vi. Sidenote: I am not allowed to clip nails anymore. I have clipped too many too short and I get in big trouble when I do that. Anyways, as Ethan was clipping Van's toes, Van says, "Dad, why do we have a toenail named after our family?" Ethan was confused. "What?" Van persists. "Why do we have a toe named Ingram?" And then Ethan connected the dots. Ingram toenail=ingrown toenail. Oh Van, don't ever grow up.